Thursday, March 6, 2008

Kinship Adoption Is Really Hard

I am feeling so sad about the way things are going for our family right now. My in-laws are really showing their true colors as a result of the approaching finalization of the adoption (of their grand-daughter - my husband's niece). I've always suspected that, despite protestations to the contrary, they have never really regarded me as part of 'their family.' Turns out that's true. Although K and I have been married for over eleven years, they still hold a longstanding (and asinine) grudge against my father (too stupid to go into). I, apparently, still bear the sins of my father. I have a huge and loving family (definitely NOT perfect, but very accepting) and his family have NEVER agreed to join us for holidays or any time that they perceive to be 'my family' time. It's always hurt me that they would not budge on this, but it's really coming to a head now.

We have decided to change our daughter's name, and we are giving her my grandmother's name as her first name and Grace as her middle name, reflecting the miracle of her entry into our family. The name she had did not have any family history (for her or for us). When we told the in-laws, their (HER) first response was "V?" (sneer) "where does that come from?" When K her that it was my grandmother's name and that she means very much to me, all we got was a sniff. Then, later, when she was saying goodbye to dd, she kept saying "Bye A" and when I gently and quietly said "VeeGee" she said, "Well, I'm just not ready for that yet." I didn't make much of it because she had just found out. I understand that it's going to take time getting used to. But, now, every time she sees VeeGee, she continues to call her A, insisting that she's just not used to it. She doesn't correct herself or anything.

Today, K was speaking to them and they were still protesting the change (it's been two months). They're angry that we're not offering an "olive branch" on the name issue. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Like, uprooting out entire existence, going into debt, wrenching our hearts out over this precious girl who was abandoned and most certainly going to be adopted by STRANGERS isn't "olive branch" enough?????!!!!!!! And then, piece de resistance, they asked K why we'd chosen a name that had nothing to do with VeeGee's family. Yep, I AM, APPARENTLY, NOT VeeGee'S FAMILY. Rich, huh? I'm so angry I could spit. And the worst thing is that this is really breaking K's heart. I don't want to keep ranting to him about this because I don't want to hurt him, and I don't ever want to sever VeeGee's ties with her grandparents, but I'M DONE being "their granddaughter" as they've called me for so long. (They're actually dh's grandparents, though they function more as his parent parents.)

NOTE TO FLAMERS/BIRTH MOTHERS: I've already been set on fire about the name change thing. That's a done deal as far as K and I are concerned. What I'm hurting over, what he's hurting over, is the fact that, apparently, membership in this larger family is conditional. And we're blindsided by that.

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